UPSC Mains Daily Answer Writing (28-10-2022)

UPSC Mains Daily Answer Writing

Questions

Q1.Explain the significance of the Indo-Pacific region for India. Highlight the steps taken by India to strengthen its position in the Indo-Pacific region. (150 words) 10 marks

Q2. Though India and US relationship has been strengthened in the 21st century, there have been some challenges that need to be addressed. Analyze in the light of recent opposition by India against the US-Pak F-16 package. (250 words)    15 marks


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Model Solutions

Q1.Explain the significance of the Indo-Pacific region for India. Highlight the steps taken by India to strengthen its position in the Indo-Pacific region. (150 words) 10 marks

Model Structure
Introduction:

Indo-Pacific is an integrated theater that combines the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean, and the land masses that surround them.
Main Body:

  • The relevance of the Indo-Pacific concept to India:
    • Economic:
      • Richness in Natural resources: Presences of minerals like Offshore Hydrocarbons, Seabed minerals, etc. in South East Asia and Africa.
      • Securing Important Sea Lines of Communication (SLOC): Over 55% of India’s trade passes through South China Sea and Malacca Strait.
      • Trade opportunities: Australia, Singapore, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the US, and China, are among the top 15 of India’s trade partner
    • Security: Rise in non-traditional threats in the region:
      • Like incidents of piracy, illegal fishing, and environmental hazards, etc.
      • India to play the role of ‘Net Security Provider’.
    • Strategic factor:
      • Checking Chinese expansionism: Militarisation of Sea Lanes by China through establishing an overseas naval base in Djibouti and in control of Gwadar port.
    • Geopolitical factors: Indo-Pacific provides avenues to pursue India’s interests -
      • Sustaining multipolarity: Circumventing power rivalries through partnerships - from the shores of Africa to that of the Americas,”
      • Freedom of Navigation: India pushes for a free, open, inclusive region.
  • Various steps taken by Indian government to strengthen its position in the region:
    • Foreign Policy and Initiatives:
      • Establishment of Indo-Pacific Division in 2019: to give a coherent architecture to the Indo-Pacific policy.
      • Regional summits: India is collaborating with various regional groups such as, IOC-ARC, ASEAN, on a multitude of subjects.
      • Initiatives: Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (increase maritime cooperation), Asia Africa Growth Corridor (for development and cooperation projects) were taken up.
      • Others: India has joined QUAD and Indo Pacific Economic Framework
    • Regional Policies aligning with the vision of Indo Pacific such as:
      • Vision SAGAR: promotes India’s geo-political, strategic and economic interests.
      • Project Mausam: sharing knowledge systems and ideas along maritime routes.
      • Supply chain resilience initiative: To create a virtuous cycle of supply chain re-silence in the region.

Conclusion:

  • There is a need to enhance issue-based partnerships with non-traditional players like Micronesia to address shared interests in the region and cooperate with Island Territories for strategic purposes to extend its reach.

Q2. Though India and US relationship has been strengthened in the 21st century, there have been some challenges that need to be addressed. Analyze in the light of recent opposition by India against the US-Pak F-16 package. (250 words) 15 marks

Model Structure
Introduction:

  • The United States recently provided Pakistan with a $450 million package 'F-16 case for sustainment and related equipment'. This is the first major military deal with Pak since the Trump administration stopped aid in 2018.
  • Also, the 21st century has seen changing geopolitics such as increasing Chinese hegemony, rise of Iran, Trade war and expansionist tendencies of Russia.
    These changes have their own impact on India US relationship.

Main Body:

  • India and US relations have improved
    • Trade war: This strengthens the trade between the countries. The USA started to replace Chinese imports with Indian products.
    • Chinese aggression: USA has maintained its solidarity with India in disputes with China
      • China has been blocking India’s membership of NSG. The US helped India into the Australia Group.
      • China-Russia links have given rise to Quad and IPEF.
    • Sharing of intelligence: via BECA India will get access to US satellite data and geospatial information, this will help gain precision in the Indian Army.
    • Countering terrorism: India and US have signed the Counter Terrorism Initiative.
    • Nuclear Cooperation: Six nuclear reactors are proposed to be made by collaboration between US companies based in India.
    • Access to market: USA is one of the biggest markets for Indian goods.
    • STA status: This has widened the range of exports that can be made to India without license.
  • Strains in the relations
    • India’s Friendship with Russia:
      • The USA has expressed concern regarding new streams of arms like the S 400 air defense system.
      • India has increased oil import and abstained from voting against Russia at the UN.
    • Energy imports from Iran: USA’s Deteriorating relationship with Iran has created an issue
    • Vaccine regulation: US companies were unwilling to waive off IP regulation on vaccines required by India.
    • US aid to Pakistan: US supplies arms to Pakistan and provides aid to fight terrorism, which are often used against Indian interest. Also recently US announced F-16 package for Pakistan
    • Trade barriers: Protective trade barriers set up by India that curbs American access to the Indian market, have been criticized by the USA at WTO.
    • Withdrawal of generalised system of preferences: This made many Indian products liable to entry duties in the US.
    • Immigration issue: US has often curbed the number of H1B visas to Indians.
    • Special 301: US claims that India is non-compliant with the global IPR framework, thus putting India in the watchlist.
    • Farm subsidies: India has refused to give access to American agri-products because of their lower prices due to higher subsidies as compared to that of Indian products.
    • Dependence on Chinese products: 70% of active pharmaceutical ingredients come from China.
  • Way forward
    • Cooperation in emerging technologies: National security has become inextricably linked to data regulation, information sharing and privacy protection
    • Strengthening multilateral coordination: prioritize strategic dialogues like the Quad and I2U2.
    • Cooperation on counter terrorism: to coordinate strategies for managing a Taliban led Afghanistan.
    • Strengthening bilateral trade: India needs to allow an increase in US FDI in its economy.

Conclusion:

  • The US-India partnership is founded on a shared commitment to freedom, democratic principles and rule of law and has a potential to transform from estranged democracies of the 20th Century to Engaged democracies of the 21st Century.
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